Pilates is a unique, safe and effective workout

personal training and pilatesPilates is a unique, safe and effective workout for the whole body paying particular attention to deep core muscles that are crucial for daily living as well as sports. Pilates is taught using layering technique (easier to harder options) therefore is suitable for all age groups, abilities and experience level.

Originally designed for dancers, Pilates today is one of the most popular forms of exercise bringing out stronger, leaner and more flexible you with an incredible muscle tone. I teach mat based Pilates using a variety of equipment in a group environment (15 people maximum to ensure personalised approach – check Classes for times and location) or on one to one basis.

Pilates for Tennis

Tennis requires agility and mobility coupled with precision and focus. The quality and control of spinal and upper limb movement are fundamental to good technique.

Pilates exercises will really help improve this, through the awareness and self-control it develops. The repetitive and forceful nature of the movements involved in the game also brings the risk of strain in and around the joints of the arm. Pilates exercises will also help to keep the balance between stability and mobility at an optimal level around these joints.

Practicing regular Pilates sessions in between matches as part of your regular training will really help you stay on top of your game; incorporate the following exercises:

  • Waist twist – standing
  • Side reach – standing
  • Oblique curl ups
  • Single leg stretch
  • Cobra
  • Single leg kicks
  • Roll downs
  • Pilates squats

Pilates With Small Equipment

In Pilates we strive for safe and effective performance of the mat based Pilates exercises (Joseph’s Pilates original 34 as well as numerous progressions/modifications/variations based on those.)

Equipment can often be an excellent way of helping you understand and progress the exercises, it can bridge the gap between ‘almost’ and ‘perfect’, aiding understanding of the moves, kinaesthetic awareness and assisting overall performance of the exercise. It increases precision and control, and over time body awareness.

Joseph Pilates passionately believed in the principles described above, and made his own equipment to assist clients and encourage their understanding of the exercises he was teaching. Nowadays we have developed the equipment further and use various pieces to help us guide the clients towards better posture, balance and core stability.

Another important reason for me personally to use the equipment is to make the class different progressing my clients to the best of their ability and potential through a pain free range of movement. It could assist their understanding of posture, create an ability to realign themselves in their daily living and improve their sports performance.

Equipment in Pilates opens new options, progressions, adaptations and modifications to experienced and novice exercisers alike.

Using equipment could also change a focus of the exercise (for example whilst Pilates squat performed on the mat / floor focuses on the hip and knee mobility the same exercise performed on the half roller would be focused on balance / need to increase core stability).

The pieces of equipment that we use (varies from class to class!) are:

  • Small block
  • Small ball
  • Band
  • Half roller (New from 2016!)
  • Full roller (private sessions only)
  • Fit ball (private sessions only)

Lastly, a couple of very important things to remember:

  • All sessions are designed to work with and without equipment so if you’re uncomfortable using it you always have an option not to!
  • Equipment is not always there to make it more challenging – it can actually make exercises easier and more achievable, allowing you to progress safely and effectively
  • Progressions in Pilates can take a really long time and whilst equipment could and will make a positive difference it also often provides an extra challenge for your mind as well as body so please do be patient and enjoy your journey

Pilates for Running

Running is the most natural of all physical activities as our bodies are designed for it. All that is required is suitable footwear and the great outdoors and away you go. It is an excellent way to keep in shape, exercising your heart and lungs and toning the whole body. The main issues usually arise from poor technique, which Pilates can certainly help improve.

We would recommend the following exercises:

  • Spine curls
  • Hip rolls
  • Curl ups
  • Single leg stretch
  • Cobra
  • Single leg kicks
  • Roll downs
  • Pilates squats